JURIST Legal News

JURIST's legal news service, powered by a team of over 40 law student reporters and editors led by Professor Bernard Hibbitts at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law.
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The US Supreme Court [official website] added 12 cases to its docket on Friday, including two Texas redistricting cases. The court had previously blocked [JURIST report] two lower court rulings that mandated the redrawing of Texas' congressional and state legislative [dockets] districts. The court has now added the cases, both called Abbott v. Perez, to its merits docket, consolidating them and allotting one hour for hour oral arguments. In South Dakota v. Wayfair, Inc. [docket; cert. petition, PDF] the court...
Germany's highest federal court on Thursday overturned [press release, in German] a lower federal court's acquittal of seven men charged with violating Germany's ban [text, PDF, in German] on wearing uniforms in public that convey a political message. In November 2016, seven men were arrested while they "patrolled" the streets of downtown Wuppertal, purportedly attempting to enforce strict interpretations of Sharia law on residents. The men were wearing orange reflective vests displaying "Sharia Police" on their backs in an attempt...
The Luxembourg Court of Cassation on Thursday reversed [judgment, in French] the conviction of "LuxLeaks" whistleblower Antoine Deltour who had leaked thousands of documents revealing tax breaks for major companies. Deltour, an employee at PricewaterhouseCoopers (PWC), disclosed tax agreements between PWC clients, many of them large multinational companies, and the Luxembourg Direct Tax Authority. He had received a six-month suspended sentence and a €1,500 fine in March. The first grounds of the appeal required the court to analyze Article 10...
The United States Commission on Civil Rights (USCCR) [official website] on Thursday urged [report, PDF] Congress to take drastic actions to remedy the disparity in public school funding in minority and low-income communities. The report calls on "[f]ederal, state, and local government [to] develop incentives to promote communities that are not racially segregated and do not have concentrated poverty, which in turn would positively impact segregation and concentrated poverty in public schools and the educational challenges associated with such schools."...
The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) [official website] on Thursday issued guidance [text, PDF; press release] that will allow states to require people to work as a condition to receiving Medicaid. CMS reasoned that health care is but one determinant of health, and that "a broad range of social, economic, and behavioral factors can have a major impact on an individual’s health and wellness, and a growing body of evidence suggests that targeting certain health determinants, including productive...
A judge for the US District Court for the Northern District of Alabama on Wednesday dismissed [opinion PDF] a lawsuit challenging the state's voter ID law. Alabama's voter ID law [text, PDF] was passed in 2011 in an effort to combat potential voter fraud. The law requires Alabama residents to present a form of photo identification when they go to the polls to vote. Among the types of photo identification allowed under the law are IDs from colleges/universities, employers and...
Eleven Guantánamo inmates filed a writ of habeus corpus [text, PDF] in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Thursday claiming that their indefinite detention is due toward President Donald Trump's anti-Muslim stance. The inmates argue they can only be kept at Guantánamo if their individual circumstances show that they would return to the battlefield. However, the lawsuit claims that Trump's declaration that all Guantánamo inmates will remain in the prison does not take...
The US House of Representatives [official website] approved a bill [S 139 text, PDF] Thursday that extends Title VII of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act of 1978. The bill was approved by a vote [vote record] of 256-164. Title VII allows the National Security Agency (NSA) [official website] to target foreign persons outside of the US for surveillance and intelligence gathering. Title VII was set to expire December 31, 2017. However, the current bill will extend the expiration date six...
[JURIST] The Kenosha Unified School District (KUSD) [official website] agreed [Kenosha News report] Tuesday to settle a lawsuit filed by a former transgender student who said the district discriminated against him by not allowing him to use the men's restroom at his high school. The lawsuit was originally filed [complaint, PDF] on behalf of the student, Ash Whitaker, by the Transgender Law Center [advocacy website] in July 2016. The lawsuit brought claims for alleged violations of the Title IX of...
A judge for the US District Court for the District of Columbia [official website] on Wednesday denied a motion for preliminary injunction [text, PDF] brought by Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) [official website] Deputy Director Leandra English to remove Mick Mulvaney as interim director. Judge Kelly Timothy wrote in the 46-page decision that, "[t]he court finds that English is not likely to succeed on the merits of her claims, nor is she likely to suffer irreparable harm absent the injunctive...
Russian metal tycoon Oleg Deripaska filed suit [complaint, PDF] in New York state court Wednesday against former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and associate Rick Gates alleging fraud. Related charges were brought in 2014 in the Cayman Islands. This new claim relies in part on evidence from the unsealed indictment [text, PDF] against Manafort stemming from Special Counsel Robert Muller's investigation into possible coordination between the Trump campaign and Russia. Deripaska, through his company Surf Horizon Limited, gave $18.9 million...
EU Advocate General Melchior Wathelet advised [opinion, PDF] the European Court of Justice (ECJ) [official website] Thursday that the rights of same-sex spouses must be recognized by every member of the EU, even if a country's government has not authorized same-sex marriage. EU law [materials] permits the spouse of an EU citizen to obtain a residence permit for the EU member state where the spouse resides. But Romanian authorities refused to honor a request of a same-sex couple. The couple...
US President Donald Trump signed the International Narcotics Trafficking Emergency Response by Detecting Incoming Contraband with Technology, orINTERDICT Act [text, PDF], on Wednesday, with the purpose of affording border protection agents enhanced opioid screening technology. The act authorizes appropriation of up to $9 million to enhance the ability of US Customs and Border Patrol [official website] to "prevent, detect, and interdict the unlawful importation of fentanyl, other synthetic opioids, and other narcotics and psychoactive substances," including the acquisition of new...
The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights [official profile], Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein, on Wednesday condemned [press release] the rise in civilian casualties in the Eastern Ghouta region of Syria resulting from the recent increase in airstrikes and ground-based attacks by government forces and its allies, highlighting that all parties are "obliged under international law to distinguish between lawful military targets, and civilians and civilian objects." Zeid also expressed "grave concern" about the situation of an estimated two million people...
New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio [official website] on Wednesday announced a lawsuit [complaint] against BP, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhillips, Exxon Mobil Corporation and Royal Dutch Shell [corporate websites] for their role in climate change. Extensive quantities of greenhouse gasses (GHGs), specifically carbon dioxide (CO2), have been emitted through production, marketing, and selling of fossil fuels—primarily natural gas and oil. The complaint asserts that these companies produce a product that causes severe harm with intended use and should therefore be...
A three judge panel for the US District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania [official website] on Wednesday rejected 2-1 [opinion, PDF] a constitutional challenge to Pennsylvania's electoral map. Although there was no unified majority opinion in Agre v. Wolf [JURIST archive], two judges found that Plaintiffs failed to bring a cognizable claim under the federal Constitution's Election Clause [Art. I § 4 text]. Chief Circuit Judge D. Brooks Smith held that partisan gerrymandering claims could not be brought...
The American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) said Wednesday that a 17-year-old immigrant in government custody was blocked [ACLU] by the Trump administration from obtaining an abortion. The unidentified 17-year-old girl, referred to as Jane Moe, is believed to be in her second trimester of pregnancy and made it clear that she wanted an abortion about two weeks ago. She has the means to obtain one, but the government will not allow it, making her the fourth undocumented immigrant to be...
Canada filed a 32-page complaint [text, PDF] against the US at the World Trade Organization (WTO) [official website] on Wednesday concerning certain laws, regulations and other measures in relation to US anti-dumping or countervailing duty investigations, reviews or other proceedings. Canada alleges [press release] that the challenged laws, regulations and measures are inconsistent with US obligations under the WTO Anti-Dumping Agreement [text], the Agreement on Subsidies and Countervailing Measures (SCM Agreement), the General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade of 1994...
The US Court of Appeals for the Sixth Circuit [official website] on Wednesday upheld [text, PDF] a 2014 citizen vote to amend the state constitution to remove the right to abortion. The question before the court was not whether such a provision was constitutional, but whether the voting method used to ratify the amendment was consistent with Tennessee's constitution. The challenged amendment states:Nothing in this Constitution secures or protects a right to abortion or requires the funding of an abortion....
The US Supreme Court [official website] heard oral arguments on Wednesday in Husted v. A. Philip Randolph Institute [docket], a case challenging Ohio's voter registration maintenance policy, which permits the government to remove individuals from the voter registration list after several years of absence at the polls. Ohio implemented a law to maintain and update its voter registration lists pursuant to the National Voter Registration Act of 1993 and the Help America Vote Act of 2002, which forbids states from...

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